This comprehensive, deftly written book examines the visual and thematic connections between the four most famous American films to deal with the movie industry and the making of a star. Beginning with 1932’s What Price Hollywood? and moving through the 1937, 1954 and 1976 versions of A Star Is Born, author James Stratton considers the style, structure, performers, production team and historical context that distinguish each film. Close analysis appraises the contributions of David Selznick, George Cukor, William Wellman, Constance Bennett, Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, James Mason, Barbra Streisand, Kris Kristofferson and various other film artists and technicians. A wide-ranging introductory chapter places the four films within the context of other self-referential movies where Hollywood looks at itself.
A film scholar, educator and writer, James Stratton has lived for many years in and around Los Angeles. This new book follows the best-selling success of Hitchcock’s North by Northwest: The Man Who Had Too Much.